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The ideal conditions for having a child

Chaos PunkChaos Punk Registered User regular
edited May 2011 in Debate and/or Discourse
A friend of mine is going to be turning 30 this year. She has no children, and no husband, but wants to settle down and raise a family. Her peers have been warning her since she was in her early 20's that she needed a husband and a child before it gets too late. Now that she is serious about planning conception, she is bombarded with sentiments that it is already way too late for her to have her first child.

I've supported her decision to stay single all through her 20's despite all of the office girls bragging about their little bundles of joy and their happy PTA lifestyles. Apparently it's finally made an impression on her, and she wants to join in.

The debate is, what is the ideal age for a woman to conceive, considering social implications and biological nature?

I argue that if a woman is serious about procreation, she can have a child younger, but the youngest ought to be 25 years old. Ideally, biologically and socially, the ideal norm should be 30.

What say you?

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2011
    I think in terms of your Typical Woman, between 25 and 30 is pretty fine. Much younger than 25 and you're probably some combination of poor and stupid, much older than 35 and you start running into biological realities.

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  • Element BrianElement Brian Peanut Butter Shill Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I think the lower end depends on the maturity of the individual

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  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Biologically sooner is generally better, socially later can be better, where the equilibrium lies that would make the "ideal age" differs from woman to woman. If she is married to someone who can financially support both of them and she's 20, sure then go for it. If she and her partner want to wait until they are in their 30s and own a house and have all their debt paid off that's fine too. There isn't a one size fits all answer.

    Neaden on
  • hanskeyhanskey Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    My wife's 31 and I'll tell you that she's much more horny, leading me to believe the scientific research that the late 20s to mid 30s is the perfect time for pregnancy, biologically. All I'm saying is that your friend is really at the perfect age, biologically, and she should go for it once she finds the right partner to both help create and raise the child.

    Also, it's not until your late 20s - early 30s that most people are financially able to properly care for a child, and frankly in the US both parents must be responsible and gainfully employed to actually afford it. Having the dough is critical - my 2 kids cost $18,000/year for daycare and we get it cheap for my area!

    It's too bad she didn't spend those wild 20s tracking down the perfect partner, because it's really hard to find someone that you can rely on to do that with you.

    hanskey on
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    It's definitely not "too late" to have children at 30. That sounds pretty ridiculous to me. There is an increasing risk of chromosomal abnormalities as maternal age increases, and it becomes more of a concern every year starting with 30. Miscarriage rates are about 10% for 20s, 15% for 30, and 20% for 35 (not exact numbers, but close enough). It skyrockets after that, and around age 35 is what is considered medically to be the start of "advanced maternal age".

    Sociologically, older women tend to be more secure financially and career-wise. They are also more likely to suffer from post-partum depression after childbirth. Recent studies on advanced maternal age indicate that maternal age alone has minimal or no impact on overall child wellbeing. Even in teenage pregnancies, the outcomes of child well-being are more due to socio-economic status and ethnicity than age.

    There is no "ideal norm" for childbearing, either. At least, one that can be set in stone. One of the ways we can track human evolution is the birth rates and maternal age of the human race over the past few centuries. Maternal age of first birth is indeed getting older, and the trend seems to be continuing (the mean age in some European countries of first birth is approaching 30 right now). The studies on advanced maternal age seem to indicate that this isn't only due to sociological factors, either. Humans are living longer overall, and that is also extending their "window of fecundity".

    EDIT: Here's a chart of the percent of live births to women over the age of 35 in New York City between 1998 and 2007:
    http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/downloads/pdf/ms/bimt-advanced-maternal-age.pdf

    It is divided among ethnicity (whites are much more likely to give birth over the age of 35 than other ethnic groups). It backs up the 1 in 5 number that is thrown around on the internet, although the false claim is "first birth" since the 20% is total live births and isn't divided into First and Subsequent births.

    Biologically, I wouldn't call 30 the "ideal age" currently. You run a significantly (the "scientific" significant, meaning interesting, not the common wisdom significant, meaning "massively huge!!!") higher risk of chromosomal abnormalities and miscarriage rate at that age compared to 20 and 25. This may change in 200 or so years, who knows?

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  • HurtdogHurtdog Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    I've supported her decision to stay single all through her 20's despite all of the office girls bragging about their little bundles of joy and their happy PTA lifestyles. Apparently it's finally made an impression on her, and she wants to join in.

    You know you can be in a relationship and not have kids, there is no need to be single through an entire decade of your best years.

    That said, finding a suitable mate takes time. She better haul ass because the biological clock is ticking.

    Hurtdog on
  • Chaos PunkChaos Punk Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Neaden wrote: »
    Biologically sooner is generally better, socially later can be better, where the equilibrium lies that would make the "ideal age" differs from woman to woman. If she is married to someone who can financially support both of them and she's 20, sure then go for it. If she and her partner want to wait until they are in their 30s and own a house and have all their debt paid off that's fine too. There isn't a one size fits all answer.

    I understand that it varies from woman to woman, but there is generally an accepted norm. Obviously having children when you're 50 deviates from that norm, or perhaps even if you conceive earlier than 18. I'm skeptical of the criticisms that she faces from her peers who are family-oriented, well-rounded intelligent people. I haven't researched much of the scientific aspects, but it seems to me evolution is making people stay younger. Perhaps it's sociology. When I went to the dentist about my wisdom teeth removal, there was some 17 year old kid in there whose mother said he just lost his last baby tooth. Most of the guys that work with me that are in their early- mid 20's still live at home with their parents. The baby-boomer type norm of women having children when they're in their early 20's stands to be questioned, I think. My girlfriend is 25, and says she does not want kids right now... that she would rather wait 'til she was 35, and people literally gasp in astonishment, Why would you wait that long!?

    Chaos Punk on
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  • NeadenNeaden Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    Neaden wrote: »
    Biologically sooner is generally better, socially later can be better, where the equilibrium lies that would make the "ideal age" differs from woman to woman. If she is married to someone who can financially support both of them and she's 20, sure then go for it. If she and her partner want to wait until they are in their 30s and own a house and have all their debt paid off that's fine too. There isn't a one size fits all answer.

    I understand that it varies from woman to woman, but there is generally an accepted norm. Obviously having children when you're 50 deviates from that norm, or perhaps even if you conceive earlier than 18. I'm skeptical of the criticisms that she faces from her peers who are family-oriented, well-rounded intelligent people. I haven't researched much of the scientific aspects, but it seems to me evolution is making people stay younger. Perhaps it's sociology. When I went to the dentist about my wisdom teeth removal, there was some 17 year old kid in there whose mother said he just lost his last baby tooth. Most of the guys that work with me that are in their early- mid 20's still live at home with their parents. The baby-boomer type norm of women having children when they're in their early 20's stands to be questioned, I think. My girlfriend is 25, and says she does not want kids right now... that she would rather wait 'til she was 35, and people literally gasp in astonishment, Why would you wait that long!?
    Ok well you seem to be mixing a whole bunch of random stuff together. I don't know much about dentistry but I don't think losing your last baby tooth at 17 is all that super unusual. It doesn't mean anything weird is going on. As for people living with their parents in their 20's, that used to be super common in America and it is still the norm in much of the world. We had a temporary time where people moved out right away and now we might be seeing a change in that as the economy tanks. It doesn't mean they are immature. People generally have children in their 20's because that is when they get married and that is when you are biologically most able to have kids, it doesn't mean it is impossible at 30, just harder.

    Neaden on
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    I argue that if a woman is serious about procreation, she can have a child younger, but the youngest ought to be 25 years old. Ideally, biologically and socially, the ideal norm should be 30.
    Also, this phrase made me think about Monty Python. Serious about procreation indeed...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47P59ha9k9s

    Hahnsoo1 on
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  • tinwhiskerstinwhiskers Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    30439.jpg

    edit:,8th times the charm

    Also Down's is only 1 of a variety of chromosomal disorders.

    http://www.genetics.edu.au/factsheet/genetics/factsheet/fs17

    is a pretty decent summary.


    The other thing that needs to be considered is having more than 1 kid. I think health optimally theres spose to be at least a year between pregnancies so if you want 2-3 kids and you don't have the first one till 35. The last one is going to land up there on the curve.

    tinwhiskers on
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  • SolandraSolandra Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    Neaden wrote: »
    Biologically sooner is generally better, socially later can be better, where the equilibrium lies that would make the "ideal age" differs from woman to woman. If she is married to someone who can financially support both of them and she's 20, sure then go for it. If she and her partner want to wait until they are in their 30s and own a house and have all their debt paid off that's fine too. There isn't a one size fits all answer.

    I understand that it varies from woman to woman, but there is generally an accepted norm. Obviously having children when you're 50 deviates from that norm, or perhaps even if you conceive earlier than 18. I'm skeptical of the criticisms that she faces from her peers who are family-oriented, well-rounded intelligent people. I haven't researched much of the scientific aspects, but it seems to me evolution is making people stay younger. Perhaps it's sociology. When I went to the dentist about my wisdom teeth removal, there was some 17 year old kid in there whose mother said he just lost his last baby tooth. Most of the guys that work with me that are in their early- mid 20's still live at home with their parents. The baby-boomer type norm of women having children when they're in their early 20's stands to be questioned, I think. My girlfriend is 25, and says she does not want kids right now... that she would rather wait 'til she was 35, and people literally gasp in astonishment, Why would you wait that long!?

    I don't think it's evolution that's keeping folks younger, but medicine. I have a friend who's 13 year old child has not lost a lot of her baby teeth because of braces on the teeth around them holding them in place. You can't argue that we're becoming mature later when girls are starting secondary sexual characteristics and even menarche as early as eight years old - that's diet and probably hormones in their food supply. Thirty five as a "late" number is a social norm based on a generation who grew up watching Brady Bunch reruns and their parents' relative ages when they were born.

    I'll be 40 next year, and do not have any biological children. My 18 year old stepson is living with us currently, and I'm enjoying the finishing process of his mothering. My OB/GYN is still of the opinion that I'm physically OK to go if we want to pursue fertility treatments, and one of my best friends is 40 and expecting her second child (the first is 18 months old). If anything, there's a stigma for getting pregnant when you're a teenager, and a stigma of sorts for not having a brood when you're in your mid-30's, for getting pregnant out of wedlock, only having one child, or having more than two or three children, and finally you're just odd if you do it later, but not shocking.

    If a woman said to me "You know, I haven't met the right guy, but I have a good job and I want to have a child," I'd say "Get'em, girl!" Likewise, if a man with the same situation said to me "I want to raise a child, but haven't found the right woman, I'd direct him to the nearest adoption agency. Being a single parent is hard, but not impossible, and starting a child with a mate is no guarantee that the mate will be there til the kid flies out of the nest. But if you think you will regret NOT raising a child, then do whatever you are willing to do to make that happen.

    In short, IMO it's less about ideal age than about the desire and ability to raise another human, and the social pressure is basically a lot of people expressing opinions about things that are none of their business.

    Solandra on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    I argue that if a woman is serious about procreation, she can have a child younger, but the youngest ought to be 25 years old. Ideally, biologically and socially, the ideal norm should be 30.

    What say you?

    I say that it's none of our fucking business.

    Feral on
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  • Chaos PunkChaos Punk Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    I argue that if a woman is serious about procreation, she can have a child younger, but the youngest ought to be 25 years old. Ideally, biologically and socially, the ideal norm should be 30.

    What say you?

    I say that it's none of our fucking business.

    you're right, but it's not going to negate the fact that there is going to be a societal norm. To defend that norm, biology and sociology (economics, maturity, etc) are going to be utilized. Personally I would rather open a pitbull rescue than father a child, which means I'm a social pariah when it comes to the square community. Being married with children does get you a lot more respect from society.

    Chaos Punk on
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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    I argue that if a woman is serious about procreation, she can have a child younger, but the youngest ought to be 25 years old. Ideally, biologically and socially, the ideal norm should be 30.

    What say you?

    I say that it's none of our fucking business.

    It's none of our business in the sense that we shouldn't tell particular women when they can or can't have kids. If you think this means that there is no such thing as a better or worse time for a woman to have a kid, that's a bit daft, and I don't think discussing the subject is really out of bounds.

    Unless you think that a sixteen year old girl still living at home and a fifty year old woman diagnosed with terminal cancer and twelve months to live are just as viable for motherhood as a 28 year old middle class married woman.

    ElJeffe on
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  • SolandraSolandra Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    you're right, but it's not going to negate the fact that there is going to be a societal norm. To defend that norm, biology and sociology (economics, maturity, etc) are going to be utilized. Personally I would rather open a pitbull rescue than father a child, which means I'm a social pariah when it comes to the square community. Being married with children does get you a lot more respect from society.

    That's not respect, it's the lack of an obvious thing to criticize or gossip about, so they dig for other things to criticize. If anything, there's more respect inherent in being a "family man," than being a "family woman" - which isn't even a common term in our language. Being a "wife and mother" implies an economic status that allows her not to work outside the home - and a distinct lack of intelligence or ambition (she's a "breeder"), or a Tiger Mom obsession with her children. Being a "soccer mom" is almost a negative, also implying a certain standard of living. "Career mom's" have "latchkey kids."

    So the societal norm is that humans find things to poke each other in the eye about, usually in the nastiest way possible, about things that are none of their business.

    Solandra on
  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's none of our business in the sense that we shouldn't tell particular women when they can or can't have kids. If you think this means that there is no such thing as a better or worse time for a woman to have a kid, that's a bit daft, and I don't think discussing the subject is really out of bounds.

    I think that it's a personal decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

    I think that as much as we can have a valid discussion, there are an awful lot of people who are waaaaaaay too interested in telling women (either in general or in particular) what they should and should not do with their bodies.

    I think that this sort of discussion is an open invitation to body policing and the ecological fallacy.

    I think that there's a way of having this discussion in a manner that isn't going to support body policing, and leading with the question "what's the ideal age to have a child?" isn't it.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Biologically, there is an "ideal age (range) to have a child", however (and we are talking about an aggregate, rather than individual examples in this case). This does not preclude having children at other ages, nor does it examine the social reasons why someone would have children or tell others when to have children (which are part of the discussion). It may not be the ideal way to start a discussion on the social impacts and such, but there are decent (if general) answers for the biological discussion. We can probably establish that the ideal age range, at this time in 2010, is between ages 20 to 25 if you want to statistically ensure the success of the pregnancy (success in this case established as a live birth with no medical complications). This does not take into account other factors which have an impact, some of which have a larger impact than maternal age, like socio-economic status, nutrition, other health factors, etc.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    I argue that if a woman is serious about procreation, she can have a child younger, but the youngest ought to be 25 years old. Ideally, biologically and socially, the ideal norm should be 30.

    What say you?

    I say that it's none of our fucking business.

    you're right, but it's not going to negate the fact that there is going to be a societal norm. To defend that norm, biology and sociology (economics, maturity, etc) are going to be utilized. Personally I would rather open a pitbull rescue than father a child, which means I'm a social pariah when it comes to the square community. Being married with children does get you a lot more respect from society.

    Why do you think the biological ideal 30????

    Fertility starts to decline by 25 and pelvic bones fuse sometime between 20 and 25. Your risk of certain cancers decrease the earlier you have your first kid. Biologically, it seems to me that there is a lot of that early 20's is ideal.

    While we do have the medical technology to get around most of the above issues I don't see how that makes it biologically ideal for a woman to have children later in life.

    Women should have kids whenever they decide it is the right time for them to have kids.

    Kistra on
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  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Whenever they feel like it*. And its no one's business than their own. Are there risks involved with being too young/too old? Sure. Guess who shoulders those risks? The same person making the decision, meaning that no one else need be involved**.

    *Assuming legal age.
    **Sperm banks can do wonders I hear.

    Meeqe on
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's none of our business in the sense that we shouldn't tell particular women when they can or can't have kids. If you think this means that there is no such thing as a better or worse time for a woman to have a kid, that's a bit daft, and I don't think discussing the subject is really out of bounds.

    I think that it's a personal decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

    I think that as much as we can have a valid discussion, there are an awful lot of people who are waaaaaaay too interested in telling women (either in general or in particular) what they should and should not do with their bodies.

    I think that this sort of discussion is an open invitation to body policing and the ecological fallacy.

    I think that there's a way of having this discussion in a manner that isn't going to support body policing, and leading with the question "what's the ideal age to have a child?" isn't it.

    A lot of things are between a person and his or her doctor, but that doesn't stop us from having opinions. I feel no guilt in judging and mocking Pamela Anderson for her floatation devices or deciding what an advisable age for procreation is for the general public. Hell, I'll say right now that octomom needs counciling and that women having children after 40 are putting their kids at risk.

    Your post is the exact principal that people try to use when they claim that their first amendment rights are being violated when they are criticized for being racist.

    Bagginses on
  • poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Feral wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's none of our business in the sense that we shouldn't tell particular women when they can or can't have kids. If you think this means that there is no such thing as a better or worse time for a woman to have a kid, that's a bit daft, and I don't think discussing the subject is really out of bounds.

    I think that it's a personal decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

    I think that as much as we can have a valid discussion, there are an awful lot of people who are waaaaaaay too interested in telling women (either in general or in particular) what they should and should not do with their bodies.

    I think that this sort of discussion is an open invitation to body policing and the ecological fallacy.

    I think that there's a way of having this discussion in a manner that isn't going to support body policing, and leading with the question "what's the ideal age to have a child?" isn't it.

    I agree with Feral.

    This topic is sexist as hell and I'm quite surprised to see it being treated as a valid discussion.

    poshniallo on
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  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Whenever they feel like it*. And its no one's business than their own. Are there risks involved with being too young/too old? Sure. Guess who shoulders those risks? The same person making the decision, meaning that no one else need be involved**.

    *Assuming legal age.
    **Sperm banks can do wonders I hear.

    So, the parent of a Down's Syndrome child will support them for the rest of their lives, even once that child becomes and adult?

    There are impacts to society from birth defects, that extend beyond the parents. That doesn't mean that we get to tell them what to do, of course, but I just think I reject your "guess who shoulders those risks" bit.


    Neaden wrote: »
    Biologically sooner is generally better, socially later can be better, where the equilibrium lies that would make the "ideal age" differs from woman to woman. If she is married to someone who can financially support both of them and she's 20, sure then go for it. If she and her partner want to wait until they are in their 30s and own a house and have all their debt paid off that's fine too. There isn't a one size fits all answer.

    The odds that any relationship a 20-year-old is in is mature enough for long-term stability aren't that great. Also, depending on the age of the father, the odds that either of them can actually forecast their financial ability to support a child in the medium term aren't great either.

    Basically, unless one of them is sitting on serious wealth (either family money, or the father is old enough to be well-established in his career) I'm not so sure a 20-year-old can really be financially "ready" to have children.

    Though, again, that doesn't mean we get to tell anybody what to do. But we can sit down and say "this is probably a bad idea" in the abstract.

    If I had to spitball an age, given normal circumstances, it's probably somewhere in the late 20's. Probably closer to 30. But it's going to vary so wildly based on individual circumstances that it's probably not worth the effort.


    Also, to Feral, I'll restate that while I don't think we necessarily have any authority to tell anybody what to do with their lives and bodies, I think we can absolutely point out when people are making poor decisions. I mean, I think most of us would agree that teenagers pumping out kids with their high school sweethearts with no jobs or means to support them is a "bad idea." And having children at 50, assuming you haven't hit menopause, is probably a poor choice as well. Do what you want to do, but let's not pretend that some of what some people want to do isn't stupid.

    mcdermott on
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's none of our business in the sense that we shouldn't tell particular women when they can or can't have kids. If you think this means that there is no such thing as a better or worse time for a woman to have a kid, that's a bit daft, and I don't think discussing the subject is really out of bounds.

    I think that it's a personal decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

    I think that as much as we can have a valid discussion, there are an awful lot of people who are waaaaaaay too interested in telling women (either in general or in particular) what they should and should not do with their bodies.

    I think that this sort of discussion is an open invitation to body policing and the ecological fallacy.

    I think that there's a way of having this discussion in a manner that isn't going to support body policing, and leading with the question "what's the ideal age to have a child?" isn't it.

    I agree with Feral.

    This topic is sexist as hell and I'm quite surprised to see it being treated as a valid discussion.

    It's only sexist due to the biological reality that only one gender bears children.

    Also, haven't there been some studies showing links between advanced paternal age and some defects? I could swear there have been. So yeah, we could probably talk about that too if anybody wants to.

    For both mother and father, it basically boils down to a balance between financial stability and risk of genetic defect. Those two will vary on average between males and females (particularly the genetic bit), and from person to person.

    mcdermott on
  • SaammielSaammiel Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Meeqe wrote: »
    Guess who shoulders those risks? The same person making the decision, meaning that no one else need be involved.

    That isn't really true in the developed world. When health outcomes for infants decline in the aggregate, the state is almost assuredly going to be footing at least part of the bill for those poor outcomes. Which I don't really view as a call to arms to mandate birthing prior to age 35 or some such, but it is something that policy makers are going to consider when looking at the issue.

    Saammiel on
  • Chaos PunkChaos Punk Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    mcdermott wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's none of our business in the sense that we shouldn't tell particular women when they can or can't have kids. If you think this means that there is no such thing as a better or worse time for a woman to have a kid, that's a bit daft, and I don't think discussing the subject is really out of bounds.

    I think that it's a personal decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

    I think that as much as we can have a valid discussion, there are an awful lot of people who are waaaaaaay too interested in telling women (either in general or in particular) what they should and should not do with their bodies.

    I think that this sort of discussion is an open invitation to body policing and the ecological fallacy.

    I think that there's a way of having this discussion in a manner that isn't going to support body policing, and leading with the question "what's the ideal age to have a child?" isn't it.

    I agree with Feral.

    This topic is sexist as hell and I'm quite surprised to see it being treated as a valid discussion.

    It's only sexist due to the biological reality that only one gender bears children.

    Also, haven't there been some studies showing links between advanced paternal age and some defects? I could swear there have been. So yeah, we could probably talk about that too if anybody wants to.

    For both mother and father, it basically boils down to a balance between financial stability and risk of genetic defect. Those two will vary on average between males and females (particularly the genetic bit), and from person to person.

    A lot of people are curious as to what people think the ideal age to procreate should be, there's nothing inherently sexist about the topic. It's also interesting to see the biological evidence and research done that I wasn't familiar with prior to this post. My girlfriend, for example, wants to have children when she is 35, people disagree with her, and it's good to see if there is any weight to the objection. There's actually another topic on google asking the same question. It isn't bigotry to be exposed to other people's opinions and scientific facts on the matter.

    This is kind of interesting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_uterus

    Chaos Punk on
    We are all the man behind the curtain.... pay no attention to any of us
  • KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Chaos Punk wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    It's none of our business in the sense that we shouldn't tell particular women when they can or can't have kids. If you think this means that there is no such thing as a better or worse time for a woman to have a kid, that's a bit daft, and I don't think discussing the subject is really out of bounds.

    I think that it's a personal decision between a woman, her family, and her doctor.

    I think that as much as we can have a valid discussion, there are an awful lot of people who are waaaaaaay too interested in telling women (either in general or in particular) what they should and should not do with their bodies.

    I think that this sort of discussion is an open invitation to body policing and the ecological fallacy.

    I think that there's a way of having this discussion in a manner that isn't going to support body policing, and leading with the question "what's the ideal age to have a child?" isn't it.

    I agree with Feral.

    This topic is sexist as hell and I'm quite surprised to see it being treated as a valid discussion.

    It's only sexist due to the biological reality that only one gender bears children.

    Also, haven't there been some studies showing links between advanced paternal age and some defects? I could swear there have been. So yeah, we could probably talk about that too if anybody wants to.

    For both mother and father, it basically boils down to a balance between financial stability and risk of genetic defect. Those two will vary on average between males and females (particularly the genetic bit), and from person to person.

    A lot of people are curious as to what people think the ideal age to procreate should be, there's nothing inherently sexist about the topic. It's also interesting to see the biological evidence and research done that I wasn't familiar with prior to this post. My girlfriend, for example, wants to have children when she is 35, people disagree with her, and it's good to see if there is any weight to the objection. There's actually another topic on google asking the same question. It isn't bigotry to be exposed to other people's opinions and scientific facts on the matter.

    This is kind of interesting:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_uterus

    I'll have to go dig for the data on this but the dirty little secret of the developed world is that waiting into your mid 30's to have children makes it signifcantly more difficult to do so naturally. It isn't coincidence that celebrities turn to IVF when they are having children following their prolonged acting careers.

    Long story short: Don't wait to have your first child until you are 35 unless you want to shell out $15,000 to conceive a baby.

    KevinNash on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2011
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I think in terms of your Typical Woman, between 25 and 30 is pretty fine. Much younger than 25 and you're probably some combination of poor and stupid, much older than 35 and you start running into biological realities.

    If your Typical Woman is middle class and white in the US (and similar cultures), then yeah, ~28 is generally seen as the ideal, providing a solid intersection of economic position, maturity, and social aspects.

    But that's kind of a narrow view. That window shifts younger for women with fewer prospects, for instance. No reason to hold off if you're not going past high school or a trade cert.

    And where are the men in this picture?

    The Cat on
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  • surrealitychecksurrealitycheck lonely, but not unloved dreaming of faulty keys and latchesRegistered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If I was a lady I'd be freezing many eggs like a bawss

    So I could have kids when I was older without risk of Down's etc. I wouldn't want children until I was, like, 40

    surrealitycheck on
    obF2Wuw.png
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2011
    'cos see I have massive problems with statements like this,
    That said, finding a suitable mate takes time. She better haul ass because the biological clock is ticking.
    Which kind of lend the impression that a) dudes only exist for this and opening jars and b) you can nip in before closing time at the Man Shack and grab yourself a bargain.

    At least one of you knows that older fathers can pass on birth defects too.

    And the whole issue is being discussed in here in a capitalist framework that frankly makes me hells of uncomfortable. Oh noooo, your baby might cost an extra hundred in taxes, quelle horreur! Posh and Feral are right.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • ShanadeusShanadeus Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Ideally, never.
    But that's just my personal feelings on the matter - a conceiving woman is terribly unattractive.

    Otherwise:
    Neaden wrote: »
    Biologically sooner is generally better, socially later can be better, where the equilibrium lies that would make the "ideal age" differs from woman to woman. If she is married to someone who can financially support both of them and she's 20, sure then go for it. If she and her partner want to wait until they are in their 30s and own a house and have all their debt paid off that's fine too. There isn't a one size fits all answer.

    This.

    Shanadeus on
  • KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    'cos see I have massive problems with statements like this,
    That said, finding a suitable mate takes time. She better haul ass because the biological clock is ticking.
    Which kind of lend the impression that a) dudes only exist for this and opening jars and b) you can nip in before closing time at the Man Shack and grab yourself a bargain.

    At least one of you knows that older fathers can pass on birth defects too.

    And the whole issue is being discussed in here in a capitalist framework that frankly makes me hells of uncomfortable. Oh noooo, your baby might cost an extra hundred in taxes, quelle horreur! Posh and Feral are right.

    If a woman has trouble conceiving past 35 because of her life choices is the state responsible for subsidizing medical costs so that she can get pregnant?

    KevinNash on
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    KevinNash wrote: »
    I'll have to go dig for the data on this but the dirty little secret of the developed world is that waiting into your mid 30's to have children makes it signifcantly more difficult to do so naturally. It isn't coincidence that celebrities turn to IVF when they are having children following their prolonged acting careers.

    Long story short: Don't wait to have your first child until you are 35 unless you want to shell out $15,000 to conceive a baby.
    The fertility rate for age 35-39 is roughly about half that of age 30-34 (based on studies done in 2000 and 2004), this is true. However, this doesn't mean that you "have to seek fertility treatments" when you are in your mid-30s. There are a multitude of factors that come into play for overall fertility after the age of 35, like ethnic group, socio-economic status, morbidity of various infectious diseases or other medical conditions, etc. This applies for both partners in the matter. The average healthy woman and man who have no history of STDs will still "maek babby".

    Your "long story short" is an exaggeration. Celebrities have very little to do with the discussion other than a warped overall awareness of the subject matter through mass media. From 2006 data, assisted fertility accounted for 55k births (this includes hormonal treatments as well as IVF), about 61% of which were above the age 35. Out of approximately 250k (or so) births in the group of women age over 35, that's around 13% that were conceived by assisted means.

    EDIT: Refining my numbers, based on the CDC's ART (assisted reproductive technology) study 2006 here:
    http://www.cdc.gov/ART/ART2006/508PDF/2006ART.pdf
    This is a 584 page document! Lots of info.

    And the CDC NCHS overview here:
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr57/nvsr57_07.pdf
    102 pages about Babies in America in 2006. Sheesh.

    Hahnsoo1 on
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  • dojangodojango Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    KevinNash wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    'cos see I have massive problems with statements like this,
    That said, finding a suitable mate takes time. She better haul ass because the biological clock is ticking.
    Which kind of lend the impression that a) dudes only exist for this and opening jars and b) you can nip in before closing time at the Man Shack and grab yourself a bargain.

    At least one of you knows that older fathers can pass on birth defects too.

    And the whole issue is being discussed in here in a capitalist framework that frankly makes me hells of uncomfortable. Oh noooo, your baby might cost an extra hundred in taxes, quelle horreur! Posh and Feral are right.

    If a woman has trouble conceiving past 35 because of her life choices is the state responsible for subsidizing medical costs so that she can get pregnant?

    In the US? No, it isn't. Other countries and under private insurers may vary. Of course, if a woman waits until she's 35+ and there are additional medical costs that are subsidized by the state, well who fucking cares? Plenty of people do high risk behavior (smoking, drinking, Xtreme sports, going outside) that the state ends up subsidizing the medical costs for, so why is it all of a sudden some sort of major policy issue if a woman does it with regards to having children?

    dojango on
  • KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    I'll have to go dig for the data on this but the dirty little secret of the developed world is that waiting into your mid 30's to have children makes it signifcantly more difficult to do so naturally. It isn't coincidence that celebrities turn to IVF when they are having children following their prolonged acting careers.

    Long story short: Don't wait to have your first child until you are 35 unless you want to shell out $15,000 to conceive a baby.
    The fertility rate for age 35-39 is roughly about half that of age 30-34 (based on studies done in 2000 and 2004), this is true. However, this doesn't mean that you "have to seek fertility treatments" when you are in your mid-30s. There are a multitude of factors that come into play for overall fertility after the age of 35, like ethnic group, socio-economic status, morbidity of various infectious diseases or other medical conditions, etc. This applies for both partners in the matter. The average healthy woman and man who have no history of STDs will still "maek babby".

    Your "long story short" is an exaggeration. Celebrities have very little to do with the discussion other than a warped overall awareness of the subject matter through mass media. From 2006 data, assisted fertility accounted for 55k births (this includes hormonal treatments as well as IVF), about half of which were above the age 35 (I think). Out of approximately 250k (or so) births in the group of women age over 35, that's around 10% that were conceived by assisted means.

    I'm reading 25% from 25-30, 15% from 30-35, that means 7.5% from 35+ using your data. The % is per cycle.

    Yes there are plenty of factors at stake. But I'm pointing out that it becomes more difficult to naturally the older a woman gets. I think that's notable. The assisted means is likely so low because it's so expensive to actually use these treatments. Celebrities have lots of money. A typical woman does not.

    KevinNash on
  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    If I was a lady I'd be freezing many eggs like a bawss

    So I could have kids when I was older without risk of Down's etc. I wouldn't want children until I was, like, 40

    Freezing unfertilized eggs sort of kind of works better than nothing but it isn't perfect and it isn't cheap.

    Also, while down's syndrome is more common with older mothers, it isn't rare with mother's of any age. Most children with down's syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 30.

    Also, the people stating that the balance is between genetic risk and financial stability are missing a whole hell of a lot of factors. The risk to the woman's health changes with age, the flexibility of people's schedules change with age, the effects of having a child on career prospects change with age and fertility changes with age.

    In regards to a career, in a lot of ways, college and graduate school are the ideal times to have kids. You have a flexibile schedule, you can take them with you in an emergency, you have the flexibility to miss lectures, and you tend to have a large social support network. And the kids are then old enough that day care is waaayy cheaper by the time you start working full time.

    Kistra on
    Animal Crossing: City Folk Lissa in Filmore 3179-9580-0076
  • LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    And the whole issue is being discussed in here in a capitalist framework that frankly makes me hells of uncomfortable. Oh noooo, your baby might cost an extra hundred in taxes, quelle horreur! Posh and Feral are right.

    Whilst that is to an extent problematic, I agree with Jeffe and McDermot insofar as sorry, but a sixteen year old doesn't have the maturity or experience to sensibly make the choice to be a parent. And that can, and should be judged by society.

    Leitner on
  • KevinNashKevinNash Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    dojango wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    'cos see I have massive problems with statements like this,
    That said, finding a suitable mate takes time. She better haul ass because the biological clock is ticking.
    Which kind of lend the impression that a) dudes only exist for this and opening jars and b) you can nip in before closing time at the Man Shack and grab yourself a bargain.

    At least one of you knows that older fathers can pass on birth defects too.

    And the whole issue is being discussed in here in a capitalist framework that frankly makes me hells of uncomfortable. Oh noooo, your baby might cost an extra hundred in taxes, quelle horreur! Posh and Feral are right.

    If a woman has trouble conceiving past 35 because of her life choices is the state responsible for subsidizing medical costs so that she can get pregnant?

    In the US? No, it isn't. Other countries and under private insurers may vary. Of course, if a woman waits until she's 35+ and there are additional medical costs that are subsidized by the state, well who fucking cares? Plenty of people do high risk behavior (smoking, drinking, Xtreme sports, going outside) that the state ends up subsidizing the medical costs for, so why is it all of a sudden some sort of major policy issue if a woman does it with regards to having children?

    Because now it's gonna cost 40 grand to have a baby instead of 20 grand? The government justifies taxing cigarettes and alcohol to offset these costs. Should we now tax women having babies over the age of 35?

    KevinNash on
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2011
    KevinNash wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    'cos see I have massive problems with statements like this,
    That said, finding a suitable mate takes time. She better haul ass because the biological clock is ticking.
    Which kind of lend the impression that a) dudes only exist for this and opening jars and b) you can nip in before closing time at the Man Shack and grab yourself a bargain.

    At least one of you knows that older fathers can pass on birth defects too.

    And the whole issue is being discussed in here in a capitalist framework that frankly makes me hells of uncomfortable. Oh noooo, your baby might cost an extra hundred in taxes, quelle horreur! Posh and Feral are right.

    If a woman has trouble conceiving past 35 because of her life choices is the state responsible for subsidizing medical costs so that she can get pregnant?

    I don't know, is it? Why is that the first and most important question going?

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
  • KistraKistra Registered User regular
    edited April 2011
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    KevinNash wrote: »
    I'll have to go dig for the data on this but the dirty little secret of the developed world is that waiting into your mid 30's to have children makes it signifcantly more difficult to do so naturally. It isn't coincidence that celebrities turn to IVF when they are having children following their prolonged acting careers.

    Long story short: Don't wait to have your first child until you are 35 unless you want to shell out $15,000 to conceive a baby.
    The fertility rate for age 35-39 is roughly about half that of age 30-34 (based on studies done in 2000 and 2004), this is true. However, this doesn't mean that you "have to seek fertility treatments" when you are in your mid-30s. There are a multitude of factors that come into play for overall fertility after the age of 35, like ethnic group, socio-economic status, morbidity of various infectious diseases or other medical conditions, etc. This applies for both partners in the matter. The average healthy woman and man who have no history of STDs will still "maek babby".

    Your "long story short" is an exaggeration. Celebrities have very little to do with the discussion other than a warped overall awareness of the subject matter through mass media. From 2006 data, assisted fertility accounted for 55k births (this includes hormonal treatments as well as IVF), about half of which were above the age 35 (I think). Out of approximately 250k (or so) births in the group of women age over 35, that's around 10% that were conceived by assisted means.

    You are looking at the numbers and thinking that every woman has an equal chance of conceiving. That just isn't the case. Some women will conceive every cycle they have sex at the right time at age 39 and other women will never conceive naturally at age 31.

    Are you disputing the idea that more couples will need to seek out fertility treatments if they try to conceive at age 35 than if they had tried to conceive at age 30?

    Kistra on
    Animal Crossing: City Folk Lissa in Filmore 3179-9580-0076
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2011
    The Cat wrote: »
    'cos see I have massive problems with statements like this,
    That said, finding a suitable mate takes time. She better haul ass because the biological clock is ticking.
    Which kind of lend the impression that a) dudes only exist for this and opening jars and b) you can nip in before closing time at the Man Shack and grab yourself a bargain.

    At least one of you knows that older fathers can pass on birth defects too.

    And the whole issue is being discussed in here in a capitalist framework that frankly makes me hells of uncomfortable. Oh noooo, your baby might cost an extra hundred in taxes, quelle horreur! Posh and Feral are right.

    Yes, how dare people acknowledge that decisions have real world ramifications. We should pretend we live in the world of Eat Prey Love and Into the Wild, where you can go find yourself without ever having to worry about how it might impact on your rich, white, American privilege.

    Bagginses on
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